I don’t particularly like discussing moderation and, in fact, it’s been much less of a problem than it once was. However, for various reasons, I thought I would quickly stress something about how, and why, I run this blog. I don’t have any great interest in comment threads that degenerate into slanging matches, or that simply end up being people complaining/insulting those with whom they mostly disagree. What I really appreciate is that the comment threads here do tend to be mostly thoughtful and informed. One reason for this, I think, is that I’ve had quite a strict moderation policy which either discourages some from commenting, and/or encourages others to comment appropriately.
Even though the comments threads here are mostly quite reasonable (in my view, at least) I do still delete some comments. The reasons can vary. Maybe it’s off topic. Maybe I just regard it as not constructive. Sometimes it can even be quite amusing, but a little ruder than I like. Maybe it’s a topic we’ve covered time and time again and I can’t see any reason to repeat previous discussions that achieved little when they first occurred. Maybe it’s promoting something that is simply wrong that we’ve covered before, and I can’t be bothered debunking it again. Sometimes I even get moderation wrong, but moderation decisions are final.
A key point, though, is I do my best to not make it personal. I have no problem with people trying again, ideally while trying to work out why their comment might have been deleted before. Of course, if it’s off-topic, ideally move on to something that is on-topic. I also don’t mind people contacting me privately if they think there is a problem; I can’t guarantee to resolve it, but I’m normally happy to try. What I really appreciate are those who understand that running, and moderating, a blog isn’t easy and that even if I get things wrong, it’s not intentional. There’s also a limit to how much time I can spend on this; there are other things (such as my actual job and my family) that have to take precedence over something that is essentially only a hobby.